Pandemic has created new opportunities - CASL President | Sunday Observer

Pandemic has created new opportunities - CASL President

24 January, 2021
CA Sri Lanka President   Manil Jayesinghe
CA Sri Lanka President Manil Jayesinghe

The 41st National Conference of Chartered Accountants was held from January 18-20 at the Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo.

State Minister of Money, Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardena, and Chairman of the University Grants Commission, Prof. Sampath Amaratunge were present at the inauguration of the conference.

The National Conference organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) which was conducted via a virtual platform for the first time in its four-decade history. Over 2,000 people including business leaders and c-suite executives from multiple industries connected with the event through the live webcast.

The inauguration ceremony was held with a limited number of invitees. A line up of globally and locally acclaimed speakers and panelists steered the conference along this year’s thought-provoking theme “Abnormal: Navigating Through Shattered Norms.”

President of CA Sri Lanka, Manil Jayesinghe said that while it is important to acknowledge the challenges following the pandemic, it is also essential to focus on the new opportunities the pandemic has created for businesses.

“If not Covid-19 today, tomorrow we will face a new challenge, so adapting and being innovative are two ways of overcoming the challenges we face whether it be today or tomorrow.

Abnormal is going to be our new normal, so we must understand the importance of being innovative and agile and embrace the abnormal while rising up to rebuild better and stronger businesses, which will be a key contributor to our economy,” he said.

Jayesinghe also urged the accounting community to increasingly focus on their ethical responsibility. “Factual financial reporting and independent auditing will definitely play a key role in managing the outcomes of such a crisis.”

Chairman of the National Conference Committee of CA Sri Lanka, Tishan Subasinghe said that what the world experienced during 2020 was not normal, and it may likely be a once in a lifetime experience for our generation. It has been abnormal for us but we must not forget that amid chaos we can find opportunities if we are optimistic. “The past months have been a learning curve for us. While the virus encircled us in bleakness, the truth is, it also became the hotspot for new innovations, amidst disruptions thereby creating a new paradigm shift,” he said.

Chairperson of the National Conference Technical Committee Ms. Anoji de Silva said that CA Sri Lanka has adopt ‘Abnormal’ as the conference theme to challenge the negativity surrounding the word and to start a conversation within the business community on how to rethink and craft the future to build better businesses.

Director, Business Development, Selyn Exporters (Pvt) Ltd, Selyna Peiris, spoke on ‘Walk the Talk,’ encouraging the corporate world to adopt a sustainable business model which gives equal importance to people, profit and the planet.

During the technical sessions, speakers and panellists explored new and stronger business and professional practices to succeed in these abnormal times.